Keyword Optimization for Video: 4 Great Tips to Maximize SEO Benefit

Keyword Optimization for Video: 4 Great Tips to Maximize SEO Benefit

Like on-page text content, video seo requires the same kind of indepth keyword research for video to ensure that the right keywords are being targeted. To rank highly in the search engines (including video hosting sites like YouTube), it's absolutely essential that the right key phrases are selected and used wisely as the ones you choose to use will have an enormous impact on whether your video is found and whether it adds to the user experience if watched.

Keywords - search terms that are used to find webpages, videos, images etc related to those keywords - are the building blocks of SEO and video search engine optimization is just the process of letting the search engines know exactly what the focus of your video is so they can return it in the search results based on the user's query. Good video keyword research will help you develop a strategy for video content creation which will benefit not only the video itself but the rest of your SEO campaign.

Of course, there's usually little point in targeting really short-tail keywords like "credit cards", "shoes" or "silver rings"Keyword Optimization for Video: 4 Great Tips to Maximize SEO Benefit- that's a sure fire way of guaranteeing that your video gets lost on page 68 of Google’s results. Unless you are Barclaycard or Jimmy Choo, you are simply not going to be able to compete for those kind of terms. On the other hand, focusing on keywords that attract only a handful of search traffic per month is also a strategy to avoid. Keyword research, whilst being a long and sometimes laborious task, is essential for find the right balance between those high volume but less competitive keywords and those that just won't be helpful for you.

So, what do you do when you've found the right keywords for your video campaign? You should already know that you need to use them in your filename, title tag, description, tags and link text but there are also some tips that can help you take the next step to ranking success through keyword optimization.

Tip 1: Use Analytics to Discover Which Keywords Your Users Search

Keyword research is an ongoing process and it pays to keep an eye on the phrases that bring people to your site. All too often, a business or a brand will make the mistake of optimizing their website for keywords they think  the user is searching for as opposed to the vocabulary that the potential client is actually using. Your average customer probably won't find you through industry jargon or insider terms so avoid those at all costs unless you are specifically appealing to a B2B market.

Keyword Optimization for Video: 4 Great Tips to Maximize SEO Benefit

Google Analytics is a fantastic tool for uncovering customer search terms (even after the 'not provided' feature was introduced) and even better, you'll very often come across specific questions that users ask - what could be more perfect than creating a video to answer those questions!

Use the information from Google Analytics (or any other analytics package you have installed) and divide the search terms you find into:

  • Those which match current content
  • Those for which you don’t yet have any text or video content for.

You can then make informed decisions about future video strategy based on capitalizing on content which already attracts a lot of views or addressing search queries which you haven't make any videos for as yet.

Tip 2: Use a Max of 2 Keywords for Each Video or Landing Page

I don't mean just use one or two keywords like "London" or "briefcase" but I suggest constructing your title, content and description around one topic rather than several. For instance if you create a video to promote one type of kitchen appliance, make the focus that particular model and it's benefits rather than try and include every other model you produce. It's an old adage but one that's true - websites don't rank, web pages do and if you let the search engines know exactly what the specific focus of the page is, they are more likely to return it high in the search results for a user query rather than one than doesn't have a clear focus. Many site owners make the mistake of uploading their videos to their home page, which is just about OK if it's a microsite based around one subject but more often than not, the video has to compete against the brand, the other models, company info, the latest.......

Don’t try to optimize the video or video page for several keywords at once. Keep it simple and clear and you will be rewarded. Which brings us onto tip 3:

Tip 3: Surround Your Onsite Video With Content

So, we know that search engines love relevant, fresh, original, focused content. We also know that we need to help search engines like YouTube, Google & Bing recognise and understand what our video content is all about and the very easiest way of doing that is to add copy to the video landing page. This is actually a lot easier than it sounds especially if:

  1. You've created the video script using the keyword targets found via your keyword research. Just use the transcript for instant, relevant content!
  2. Without keyword stuffing, you make good use of the header tags on the page
  3. The URL includes the main target keyword (and the word video - see tip 4).
  4. Comments are enabled (if applicable). Not only does this send the right signals to Google that the page is 'active' and encouraging user engagement, but the comments themselves may also include variations of the keywords you are targeting.
  5. You link out to related target elsewhere on the site

 Tip 4: Use the Word “Video” as Much as Possible.

Many users are now including the word' video' when searching for content so it makes sense to add this word to your title tag, description and content. If you do want to rank for a highly competitive keyword than adding 'video' may just give you the advantage over those who are not using video content as part of their marketing arsenal.

Keyword Research = 1st Step for Video SEO

Taking time to understand and discover the keywords that can drive relevant and converting traffic to your site really is the key to success for all search engine optimisation, including video. It will give your marketing strategy a real focus and a plan for the coming months.

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About the Author -
Carla Marshall is the Managing Editor of ReelSEO, and the Community Manager for the ReelSEO YouTube Channel. She is YouTube Certified, and specializes in video optimization and organic marketing. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • http://www.kyleclouse.com/ Kyle Clouse

    Carla, this is a great post and a great reminder.  If you want good results on your video SEO then you have to put in the time.  Junk in always equals junk out.  I can't understand why people take the time to make a video, sometimes a good one, and then they fail to optimize it for the search engines.  

  • AlisaT

    Hi Carla, great article. You make an excellent point that keywords should be narrowed down to 2--it's difficult to contain keywords sometimes because I want to say THIS and I want to say THAT and suddenly my title looks like a blog post. :-) 

  • julian_jippidy

    Awesome article with some great tips! Video SEO is most certainly an underutilized marketing tactic. As you hint, producing the video is actually one of the easier steps in the video marketing process - getting the views through proper optimization techniques and follow best practices as you've detailed is actually the most time-consuming part because it takes so much research and implementation. Thanks for the great post, that Tip #4 was especially helpful because I had never heard/thought of it before!

  • Mikemacnamara

    Let's not forget video sitemaps. You can submit these via Google's Webmaster tools. The structure looks quite daunting but it lets you add all sorts of data - title, description, multiple keywords, duration and (very importantly, I believe) pick your own thumbnail image. You can also include and exclude regions - so if you're launching a multinational campaign you can take control of where your results might appear and what video users will see. Just another small element of a successful video strategy but an easy one to take advantage of.
    Mike, Technical Director,
    http://nextshoot.com

  • ezrafishman

    Hi Carla,
    Great post.  The only thing I'd add is that keyword research for video seo is not the same as standard website seo.  The inclusion of rich snippets (like video results) is in part dependent on google's determination of how relevant a video result would be for this search term.  Therefore queries like "how to..." will tend to show more video results in the top 10 than a term like "ancient greece".  SEOMoz has recently updated their keyword tool to show whether a keyword currently has either image or video results.  Definitely worth checking out as you do your video seo keyword research.  
     
    And of course if you're looking for an easy way to built video sitemaps that's something we do for all accounts here at Wistia -- http://wistia.com/product/video_seo

  • http://www.kyleclouse.com/ Kyle Clouse

    Carla, this is a great post and a great reminder.  If you want good results on your video SEO then you have to put in the time.  Junk in always equals junk out.  I can't understand why people take the time to make a video, sometimes a good one, and then they fail to optimize it for the search engines.  

  • http://www.thinkbigonline.com.au/ AlisaT

    Hi Carla, great article. You make an excellent point that keywords should be narrowed down to 2--it's difficult to contain keywords sometimes because I want to say THIS and I want to say THAT and suddenly my title looks like a blog post. :-) 

  • KeithDShrock

    Great Post.
     
    The Foundation Of Any Web Property Is Keyword Research.
    Video Is no Exception.
     
    Buyer Keywords That Bring People to your Site Are Most Useful.
     
    Never Heard About Adding The Word 'Video' to The Title.
    Nice Thought!
    Thanks.
     
    Home http://FB.com/LORD.Marketing.south.bend
     

  • julian_jippidy

    Awesome article with some great tips! Video SEO is most certainly an underutilized marketing tactic. As you hint, producing the video is actually one of the easier steps in the video marketing process - getting the views through proper optimization techniques and follow best practices as you've detailed is actually the most time-consuming part because it takes so much research and implementation. Thanks for the great post, that Tip #4 was especially helpful because I had never heard/thought of it before!

  • Video Production Company

    Let's not forget video sitemaps. You can submit these via Google's Webmaster tools. The structure looks quite daunting but it lets you add all sorts of data - title, description, multiple keywords, duration and (very importantly, I believe) pick your own thumbnail image. You can also include and exclude regions - so if you're launching a multinational campaign you can take control of where your results might appear and what video users will see. Just another small element of a successful video strategy but an easy one to take advantage of.
    Mike, Technical Director,
    http://nextshoot.com

  • ezrafishman

    Hi Carla,
    Great post.  The only thing I'd add is that keyword research for video seo is not the same as standard website seo.  The inclusion of rich snippets (like video results) is in part dependent on google's determination of how relevant a video result would be for this search term.  Therefore queries like "how to..." will tend to show more video results in the top 10 than a term like "ancient greece".  SEOMoz has recently updated their keyword tool to show whether a keyword currently has either image or video results.  Definitely worth checking out as you do your video seo keyword research.  
     
    And of course if you're looking for an easy way to built video sitemaps that's something we do for all accounts here at Wistia -- http://wistia.com/product/video_seo

  • Kent Ong

    I suggest we sell benefits and dreams when develop the video title because it is the most important thing we should tell our customers in order to trigger them to buy.

  • treepodia

    I think it's also worth mentioning the importance of evaluating your video SEO. It's great if your videos are driving traffic and converting customers, however it's also important to re evaluate your goals to ensure you are continuously getting the right returns. After the success of your video, you should ask yourself, what can we do now to further improve the campaign? Keeping a close eye on your video analytics is important, e.g cross referencing your videos success across different locations. Refine and repeat for maximum ROI.

  • http://webdesy.com/ Vitaliy Kolos

    Thanks for the article, Carla. Due to your article, I've found a few things that I'm not actually doing on my blog. For instance, I did not use the word "video" in my posts that did contain a video. Also, is it ok to just use the Keyword Planner for keyword research (other than Google Analytics) or there's a specific tool for doing keyword research for YouTube videos? Something like Keyword Planner for YouTube?